New Brunswick earns B-minus grade on pandemic liquor policy report card

Published July 27, 2022

Restaurants Canada has just released a special COVID-19 edition of its Raise the Bar report giving New Brunswick the title of “Most Improved” province for significantly improving liquor policy conditions.

FREDERICTON, New Brunswick — The grades are in: For the fourth time since 2015, Restaurants Canada has given each province a report card on how industry-friendly their liquor policy landscape is for bars and restaurants.

In this year’s Raise the Bar report, New Brunswick rose two full grades from a D-minus to a B-minus, earning the title of “Most Improved” province. This was mainly due to Alcool NB Liquor (ANBL) introducing a licensee pricing rebate program for bars and restaurants during the first quarter of 2020, as part of a three-year plan to become more competitive with neighbouring jurisdictions.

“New Brunswick has demonstrated an impressive willingness to make long-overdue changes to its liquor policy landscape,” said Richard Alexander, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Atlantic Canada. “With bars and restaurants continuing to struggle in the wake of COVID-19, keeping up progress in this area will go a long way to support their road to recovery.”

Here’s how New Brunswick’s performance record on Restaurants Canada’s Raise the Bar report compares with the rest of the provinces:

 GRADES
PROVINCE2015201720192022
British ColumbiaC+CCB
AlbertaB+BBB+
SaskatchewanD+C-C-C-
ManitobaCCCC
OntarioD+D+C-C+
QuebecC+B-B-C
New BrunswickC-DD-B-
Nova ScotiaC+B-B-B
Prince Edward IslandB-B-B-C+
Newfoundland & LabradorFD-D-C+

How can New Brunswick raise the bar?

Restaurants Canada is continuing to work with the New Brunswick government to improve the liquor policy landscape for bars and restaurants. Here’s how the province can increase its grade by the next Raise the Bar report:

  • Increase licensee pricing rebates and include all categories of beer products, ready-to-drink liquor products, and cider;
  • Undertake a comprehensive re-write of liquor legislation to cut red tape and reflect changing market conditions;
  • Introduce a liquor server wage; and
  • Allow liquor licensees to procure products directly from craft brewers.

Visit restaurantscanada.org/resources/raise-the-bar-2022 to download the full report and join in the online conversation with the hashtag #RaiseTheBar2022.

About Restaurants Canada

Restaurants Canada is a national, not-for-profit association advancing the potential of Canada’s diverse and dynamic foodservice industry through member programs, research, advocacy, resources and events. Before the COVID-19 crisis, New Brunswick’s $1.6 billion restaurant industry was the province’s fourth-largest source of private sector jobs, typically employing more than 20,000 people. New Brunswick’s bars and restaurants are now struggling to recover at least $440 million in lost revenue in the wake of the pandemic.

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